The Best GPS

During yesterday’s Sunrise meeting, Pastor Eugene shared a message with us about how to stay focused on the Spirit.

In his sermon, he spoke about how we tend to respond to issues using our mind first and then allow our mind to instruct our Spirit. We use our logic and present this ‘logic’ to the spirit. However, that is not the correct way! What we should do instead is to use our spirit to understand whatever is happening around first and then allow our spirit to engage our minds.

He then shared an amazing testimony of how he left his house only at 6.05 a.m. yesterday and he was deciding on the fastest way to get to Marine Parade. He felt extremely anxious because he kept experiencing red lights all the way as he drove. However, he decided that he will tune to the Spirit and ask God’s spirit to guide him and help him get to church early. Amazingly, after he tuned to the Spirit, the traffic lights all turned green! And he managed to arrive in church at 6.25 a.m.

Testimonies are always one of the most powerful parts in every sermon because they give us a ‘picture’ of how indeed this message or principal can become a reality in our lives and indeed, I experienced this power of the Spirit to guide us when I drove yesterday!

It was a crazy day for Jasmine and I yesterday as we had to drive to 5 different locations within one day, and the timings were rather tight. We decided to stay for cell group time yesterday and stay through the games time as it had been specially arranged by our Pastor for the many cell groups. We initially wanted to leave at 615, but we thought it was better to stay till the end of the games, so we left only at 640. When we changed and walked to the car, it was already 645, which left us only 15 minutes to get to Orchard from Bukit Merah.

I am not very good with the roads and generally navigate using Expressways as my fallback option. As such, I kept thinking about how it was possible to get there using CTE because that’s the nearest expressway to Bukit Merah. This was the route that was on my mind even when we started driving. However, I started praying and asking the Holy Spirit for a way to get to Orchard even faster.

Suddenly, as we drove down, I saw the sign for Tiong Bahru road and felt prompted to turn down that road. The Holy Spirit brought back vague memories of how that road would lead me to Havelock road. I was rather uncertain, but I just took a step of faith and turned. Indeed, I was right! By turning down that road and going down Havelock, I effectively cut down my travel time to Orchard to only 8 minutes!

Now, you could say that this wasn’t the Spirit’s guidance and merely me remembering something from the past. However, the Spirit’s guidance didn’t just end there.

I had thought that Four Seasons hotel was actually next to Forum and I didn’t have a clear idea of where it was at all. Suddenly, as I was turning from Havelock into Orchard Boulevard, I felt a prompting to look to my right, and to look upwards and to my greatest surprise, I saw that it was Four Seasons Hotel! I immediately had to make a lane change of 3 lanes – which I normally don’t dare to do, but I managed to do it and turned smoothly into Four Seasons Hotel!

We arrived there at 7.05 p.m., taking only 15 minutes to drive down from Bukit Merah to Four Seasons and all because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit through every step of the way.

In our ‘natural’ way, we always turn to man’s methods and ‘logical’ methods, like checking the road directory and asking friends. While those methods are still valid, I realised yesterday that the best person we can always rely on is the Holy Spirit! God is amazing indeed!

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Sanctification Week

The past week was our church’s Sanctification Week and we had two sessions with Dr Douglas Norwood on Thursday and Friday night. Dr Norwood shared with us many amazing testimonies of how the Holy Spirit brought miracles, broke through hard ground and enabled many believers to bring forth the kingdom of God in many situations. Indeed, the sessions were Spirit-filled and I felt that there was indeed a renewed outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit upon us over the past week.

On Friday evening, Dr. Norwood shared a very simple word – God can use anyone, regardless of our maturity in Christ or what we perceive as our own unworthiness. He shared a testimony of how a boy who had just received Christ was used by God to bring forth healing and deliverance on a woman, just 30 minutes after receiving Christ. He shared the story of Gideon and how God kept telling Gideon to reduce the number of soldiers, until all who were left were those who wanted to be used by God and God used them mightily to bring victory. It was followed by a time of prayer and ministry where we all just allowed the Spirit to move in us and fill us.

However, in spite of how powerful those two nights were, the most powerful moment for me during this whole Sanctification week was during cell group yesterday. We had a very meaningful exercise where we got all the boys in our cell to wait upon the Holy Spirit and ask the Spirit to give them a word that would minister to someone. They all waited upon God and wrote down the words on a piece of paper. We put all the words together in the centre of our circle and all of us randomly picked a word from the pile. This is what I got:

“Jude v. 21: Keep yourselves in God’s love as you WAIT for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Whatever challenges you may be facing right now are temporary. Our God is merciful and loving. You can look forward to eternal life with him. God bless you with the patience to wait out your troubles.

When I first saw this word from a fellow brother in Christ yesterday, I felt touched. God gave me peace and assurance that He was a loving God and He would give me patience to wait out the troubles. It was indeed a word in season for me!

As I pondered even further on the word today, I realised the word given to me was even more appropriate than I thought it was. The word released was guiding me also to have the right focus amidst all that I was doing. My focus should not be on the challenges faced, but on the love of God. More importantly though, my focus should be on the eternal life that I have to look forward to and not on any earthly possessions or gains. This word was confirmed as I recalled that my family doctor shared a similar word with me earlier yesterday. He told me that what is more important is not our ‘earthly’ home that we have here, but our ‘home’ in Heaven and we should always focus on that.

God is amazing! It was great to experience God and hear such a clear word from God during this season. What was more amazing was how God used one of the younger boys in the cell to release such a crucial word to me!

It has indeed been an exciting week of Sanctification and I know that God will do even greater things in our church and cell group in 2011.

The 4th Dimension

I have been reading Dr. Cho’s The Fourth Dimension over the weekend and want to share some great gems of wisdom from the first chapter where he writes about the 4 basic steps to make your faith usable:

Step 1: Envision a Clear-cut Objective

“First, to use your faith, you must be able to envision a clear-cut objective. Faith is the substance of things, clear-cut things, hoped for. If you only have a vague idea about your goal, then you are out of touch with the One who could answer your prayer. You must have a clear and defined faith goal….

The Lord never welcomes vague prayers. When the son of Timaeus, the blind Bartimaeus came running after Jesus Christ, he cried, “Oh, thou Son of David, be merciful to me.” Although everybody knew what Bartimaeus was asking for the healing of his blindness, Christ asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Christ wants very specific requests. Bartimaeus said, “Sir, I want to see.” Jesus replied, “It shall be done unto you as you believe.” Bartimaeus opened his eyes.”

Dr. Cho shares 3 very amazing testimonies in his book, which really encouraged me to pray specifically and in detail. One of his testimonies was about how he had been praying for a bike and a desk for his new church and God didn’t answer – then he felt God challenge him to ask more specifically – what model of bike? Made in which country? What kind of desk? What kind of wood do you want it to be made up of? He then started to ask specifically and all these things came in. Amazing!

Step 2: Have a Burning Desire

“Many people just pray casually, “God, answer my prayer,” and before walking out of the church have forgotten all the things they prayed for. That kind of attitude will never bring faith and touch of God. You need to have a burning desire.”

“You have to have a burning desire in your heart. If you do not have a burning desire, then wait and ask God to impart His desire to your heart. God does not like the lukewarm, for He specializes only in the red-hot; if you have that red-hot burning desire, then you are going to have results.”

Step 3: Pray for Assurance

“When you have a clear goal, and you have this desire burning in your heart to a boiling point, then you should kneel down and pray until you receive the substance, the assurance.”

Dr. Cho refers to this ‘substance’ as a title deed, or legal paper – that assurance that comes from God that you will receive what you are praying for. This assurance might take two minutes, two hours, two months or two years, but whatever the length of time, we must pray until we get the assurance.

“Once you have the substance – the title deed, the legal paper – whether you see those things or not, legally those things are bound to come to you because legally those things belong to you. So pray until you have this assurance.”

Step 4: Speak the Word

Fourth, you should show evidence of your faith. The Bible says God raised the dead. That means that GOd performed miracles, calling “those things which be not as if they were.”

The most powerful paragraph of this chapter – “Miracles come not by blindly struggling. There are laws in the spiritual realm, and you have endless resources in your heart. God is dwelling within you; but God is not going to do anything for you without coming through your own life. God is the same, for Jehovah never changes; but before a person changes, God cannot manifest himself…. What becomes pregnant in your heart and mind is going to come out in your circumstances. Watch your heart and mind more than anything else. Do not try to find your answer of God through another person, for God’s answer comes to your spirit and through your spirit the answer comes to your circumstances.”

“The church today has lost the art of giving commands. We Christians are becoming perennial beggars, for constantly we are begging… There are times for you to pray, but there are also times for you to give the command. You must pray through in your prayer closet, but when you come out to the battlefield, you are coming to give the word of creation. When you read the life of Jesus Christ you see that He always gave the command. He prayed all night, but when He came out to the front lines He commanded that the people be healed. He commanded the sea to be calm. He commanded the devil to leave.”

“Many people come and ask me whether I have the gift of faith, or the gift of healing. But I’ve searched through my heart and so far I have not found any gift in me. I believe that is because it is the Holy Spirit who has the gifts, all nine of them. He dwells within us, and within me..

What kind of gift do I have? I will tell you the one gift I have – the gift of boldness. With this gift of boldness; we just launch out by faith; then the Holy Spirit is going to follow us.”

There’s just so much in this book that every believer should read it. It will powerfully change the way you relate to God.